“For it is you who light my lamp; the LORD my God lightens my darkness.”(Psalm 18:28)
“Then they cried to the LORD in their trouble, and he delivered them from their distress. He brought them out of darkness and the shadow of death, and burst their bonds apart. Let them thank the LORD for his steadfast love, for his wondrous works to the children of man! For he shatters the doors of bronze and cuts in two the bars of iron. (Psalm 107:13-16 ESV)
The Christ-child come in the flesh, born new. Always existing as God, but taking on human flesh – willingly born in time and space. The Creator taking on the likeness of the creation. Entering our dark world at just the right time to give new birth. His birth making way for each of us who believe to be birthed anew.
Why do we need new birth? What’s wrong with us? What was wrong with our first, physical birth?
We entered this dark-as-night world on the day we were born. We entered the world of creation stumbling about in darkness. Bound by the lies which took the human race down into darkness in the garden so long ago. Born running away from the light. Born preferring darkness so that our sins could be hidden. Born rebelling against our Creator. Born in such sadness, no matter how wonderful our family might be.
But born to HOPE…such amazing hope. Hope because the Christ-child entered our darkness with piercing God-light. He lowered himself and became one of us, pierced for us, in our place.
Our stumbling, groping and life of dark lies has been pierced! The most amazing news you will ever hear! Our darkness penetrated by the light!
The light has shone and we can now walk in that light. A light which cannot be overcome with darkness. Born again…from darkness to light.
The world, oh it is still dark, but those who have surrendered and embraced the piercing work of the pierced Christ for them are now light. Those whose eyes have been opened to see the darkness and embrace the light. Light in Christ, light of Christ, light because of Christ.
New birth = light. True life. Purposeful breathing in and out. Embracing the perfect One who has covered us by His birth, life, death, resurrection and ascension.
And this isn’t our best life, now…oh no! All is tainted by this Eden-darkness – but this fleeting life will culminate in eternity, forever in the light. The Eden-before-lies will be restored…and then some. Where the sun and moon will be replaced by the One who gave Himself so that we can forever be with Him. Us! Those in darkness mixing with Light? Praise the One who was birthed, entering our darkness so long ago.
The darkness cannot overcome the Light!
And when new physical life is brought into this dark world, we rejoice. New life is miraculous, precious, breath-taking! We pray, hope and plead with their Creator that He will pierce their darkness and give them new spiritual life at some point in their fleeting physical life. And we train, disciple, weep with, rejoice with, live side-by-side with new life creations. And new physical life grows old and fades away…
But new spiritual life, new birth…the heart of stone transformed, the spirit made alive, a life humbled and filled with THE Spirit of Christ, indwelt and powerful – now that creation lives forever in the light! Our physical man fades away…but no fading away of the new creation, only renewing and changing into the likeness of the Christ, who gave all. New spiritual birth is as beautiful as it gets. It is painful, but beautiful. Painful piercing of our darkness, but utter relief to be walking in the light no longer stumbling about. As Rosaria Butterfield in her book, “The Secret Thoughts of an Unlikely Convert” quotes, “Although grateful, I did not perceive my conversion to be “a blessing”. It was a train wreck.” Painful reorientation of life, priorities, loves…but oh so worth it! Eternally worth the piercing here in this fleeting “now”.
And when Christ allows us to witness the new birth in the life of another, such joy, relief and agony mix into one. Joy inexpressible as the old becomes new…new creation. Relief because one we care about has been rescued from the domain of darkness. And what could be more important? And yet agony as the flesh begins its warring with the Spirit now living inside. The fight with remaining, indwelling sin begins. And it’s hard, and it’s painful – but eternally profitable. And the more we grow, the more we see this indwelling sin. The more we are thrown onto this Christ-child and His daily-new mercies. The more we are thankful for His saving, atoning, keeping, and rescuing work. Peeling back the layers of us – once deeply entrenched in darkness, revealing new graces from Him to overcome each putrid layer. Christ-followers aren’t made instantly perfect, only a new creation in Him. Baby-hood…growing each day to be more and more mature. Awaiting the day when our Lord and Savior, the Christ-child returns for us. And on that day we are made completely NEW and perfected. Come Lord Jesus! Come!
Our Christ has pursued, chased after and won over His children. He saves! He is our only Savior! And His timing for “newness” is always perfect. Never doubt it!
And why? Why me? Why anyone? Are we deserving or worthy?
We dwelled in darkness and in the shadow of death. Darkness and death do not mix with the Father of Lights. But one word…love! Love that seeks, finds, rescues, changes, makes new, and will come back for one day…
Oh, I need it! I need rescued just as much today as I did on that October day when the Father initially rescued me and the Spirit indwelled me. And Oh! I need HIM! I need the life-giving Light ever as much (and I realize it more now than I did then, even)…And needing Him, having Him, knowing Him is what it is all about. Forsaking the darkness for the Light will never be regretted. Oh so many other regrets, but never that one! At the end, nothing else will matter. Not houses, jobs, aspirations, dreams, pursuits of happiness, earthly success, wealth…only knowing God as Father through the Christ-child will matter. A relationship – not a religion. A relationship with the Son in whose eyes the sick found such healing and love while He walked this darkness called Earth. One who endured the unthinkable in our place. Who nailed our sins (which are many and ever-present) to the cross and spread his hands in love and died a piercing death. Unthinkable love! Unimaginable love! Undeserved love! Thank you, Jesus!
Thank you for rescuing again…just this week…a loved one! Thank you that I got to witness it. I’m in such awe of You! And the angels in heaven are rejoicing!
The Power of the Cross
Once in darkness now in light
Once blind now I see
Once a sinner now a saint
Once bound now free.
Once a stranger now a child
Empty now filled
Once condemned now reconciled
Broken now healed
Once a prodigal now home
Once lost now found
Once an enemy now a friend
Once poor now crowned
That’s the power of the Cross
See the chains fall
That’s the power of the Cross
See the chains fall
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